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PS5 and Xbox Series X backward compatibility: What you need to know – CNET

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Microsoft made a new batch of old games playable on Xbox Series X and S, in celebration of its original console’s 20th anniversary.
The PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S all play old games, with a few limitations.
Playing your old games on a next-generation console is a huge deal for people who want to check out titles they missed or revisit the past. Sony and Microsoft knew this as they launched their PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X last year, both having hyped up their consoles’ backward compatibility features. The latter even announced a new batch of old games it made playable on Series X Monday.
The two companies have been battling other console makers for decades — Sony since 1994 and Microsoft since 2001 — so they’ve both built up magnificent back catalogs filled with classics. Let’s take a look at how much of each of those libraries you can play on the new consoles and how you can transfer your saves.
Your shiny new PS5 will play most PS4 games.
The PS5, which starts at $400, was designed with PS4 games in mind, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan told CNET last June.
“PS4 titles get even better on PS5. Select PS4 titles will see increased loading speeds on the PS5 console, and will also leverage Game Boost, offering improved or more stable frame rates,” the company said in an Oct. 9 blog post. “Some titles with unlocked frame rates or dynamic resolution up to 4K may see higher fidelity.”
Read more: PS5 review: Sony built a space-age game console for your next-gen dreams
God of War will look and play better on PS5, thanks to an optimization patch.
Ghost of Tsushima developer Sucker Punch gave us a sense of how Game Boost works: Once it’s enabled, you’ll “see an extra option to allow frame rates up to 60fps.” 
For the 2018 God of War, developer Sony Santa Monica released a PS5 optimization patch on Feb. 2. Once that’s installed, you’ll be able to play in 4K resolution and at 60 frames per second. 
The company also released a short list of PS4 games that won’t be playable on the PS5:
It noted that these games will carry a “Playable on: PS4 only” warning in the PlayStation Store, so you don’t download them by accident.
On Oct. 30, Ubisoft released a separate list of PS4 games that won’t work on PS5. The most prominent one was 2015’s Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. It later pulled that blog post, telling IGN it may have included “inaccuracies involving the Ubisoft titles that will be playable on PS5.” Players have since reported that Syndicate is playable, with some odd graphical glitches.
Entertain your brain with the coolest news from streaming to superheroes, memes to video games.
The switch from spinning hard drive to solid-state storage will make them run faster than they did on the PS4, so you won’t be staring into the loading screen abyss for quite as long. I timed how long Ghost of Tsushima took from booting up to gameplay on each system; my launch on the PS4 took 1 minute and 40 seconds, on the PS5, it took exactly 1 minute.
If you subscribe to PS Plus, Sony’s $60-a-year online service, you get a selection of PS4 games to play at no extra cost through the PS5-only Plus Collection from Nov. 12 (you’ll also get free PS5 and PS4 games each month).
Batman: Arkham Knight is part of the PS5’s Plus Collection.
You can use your current DualShock 4 controller to play those PS4 games, but you’ll have to use the new DualSense for PS5 games. And PS5 won’t be backward compatible with PS3, PS2 or PS1 games.
It’s possible to continue your PS4 adventures on the new console, and Sony has confirmed a few methods of transferring your saves. 
“You can transfer digital games, game data, and game saves from a PS4 console to a PS5 console using LAN cables, or by connecting wirelessly (Wi-Fi). If you’ve already stored PS4 games and game data in the external USB storage device connected to your PS4, you can bring them over to PS5 with that external USB storage device,” the company said in an Oct. 9 blog post. “And if you are a PS Plus member, you can also sync PS4 game saves on PS5 through cloud storage.”
The cloud storage method is the simplest approach, but it’s a little fiddly. You’ll have to make sure the latest save is backed up to the cloud from your PS4 and manually download it on your PS5 — hopefully a future update will make the PS5 automatically detect and download cloud saves once a game is installed.
However, it warned that the ability to transfer game saves between a PS4 version and a PS5 version of the same game is down to the developer, and it’ll vary with cross-gen games. It’s highly unlikely that any developer will decide not to give you the power to transfer. So far, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Sackboy: A Big Adventure are confirmed to have save transfers if you upgrade to the PS5 versions.
You might want to hold onto your PS3 to play games from its library.
If you want to play those dusty old original PlayStation, PS2 or PS3 discs, you’re out of luck. Sony moved away from backward compatibility after the initial batch of PS3s, and PS4 couldn’t play any games from the older consoles — so that 2008 copy of Metal Gear Solid 4 will remain on your shelf until the world goes cold. This is the case on PS5 as well.
However, there are a few ways to access old games on PS5. There’s a selection of PS2 Classics you can buy on the PlayStation Network, and Sony’s $9.99 a month PS Now streaming service lets you access a massive library of PS2 and PS3 titles (along with a rotating selection of PS4 games — these can be downloaded to your console). These games are playable on the PS5.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to access the massive library of original PlayStation, PSP or PS Vita games without tracking down the old hardware or a mini console. Your options for playing classic games on PS3, PSP or Vita will soon become even more limited, since Sony is shutting down the PSN Store for those devices this summer.  
Read more: Game subscription services: Read this before you choose one
The Xbox Series X and Series S are backward compatible with games from all of Microsoft’s previous consoles, but not all such titles.
Microsoft has been more ambitious with backward compatibility. The $499 Xbox Series X and $299 Series S play original Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games. That’s four generations of games, stretching back to the first console’s 2001 launch.
But it doesn’t include literally everything. Microsoft has a comprehensive list of the games that play on its new consoles. And titles that require its defunct Kinect motion sensor won’t work at all.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original Xbox on Nov. 15, the company added more than 70 games to its backward compatibility catalog. However, it noted that this would be the last batch of old games it would make playable on its new consoles.
Old games get a visual boost on the Series X and Series S, by way of high dynamic range graphics. The new consoles’ hardware may also reduce game loading times and increase frame rates. It also offers the Quick Resume feature.
Read more: Xbox Series S restock news
It also made several Xbox and Xbox 360 games available via Xbox Cloud Gaming, which means Xbox Game Pass subscribers can play them on an Android device.
Your Xbox 360 is largely irrelevant thanks to the Series X’s ability to play old games.
This is incredibly straightforward because Microsoft’s Smart Delivery system lets you transfer save files from any Xbox Series X compatible game.
“As was the case with our current backwards compatible titles, you won’t have to worry about losing any progress either,” the company said in a June 15 blog post. “Thanks to our commitment to compatibility across generations, you can be assured that when you purchase a game on Xbox One today, your game library, progression and entire gaming legacy moves forward with you if you jump into the next generation with Xbox Series X.”
If you’ve still got saves for 360 games you want to access, you can transfer to Xbox Series X by uploading it to the cloud. You can’t use this method to transfer saves from original Xbox games to the Series X, so you’ll have to start that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic play-through from scratch.
Microsoft also has a subscription service, the $10 a month Xbox Game Pass, that’ll get you access to a rotating library of older games. New Xbox exclusives also launch on the service, so you’ll get Halo Infinite and other upcoming games the day they become available. The $15 Game Pass Ultimate option will also get you access to Xbox Cloud Gaming, EA Play games and the ability to play many titles on PC.
Unlike the PS5, you’ll have plenty of controller options no matter what generation of games you’re playing — the Series X and Series S controllers are compatible with Xbox One games, the Xbox One console itself and PCs. You can also use your Xbox One controllers on your Series X and Series S.

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PlayStation Making New PS5 Triple-A Online Game – TheGamer

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No details have been announced, but we’ve dug through the job descriptions to piece things together.
PlayStation's London studio is currently hiring a team to get development underway for an upcoming online PS5 game. Based on the job descriptions, it seems the project is in the very early stages of development, so we likely won't see a trailer or even a name for a while yet.
What we do know is that this will be "an ambitious AAA project," one that will likely feature co-op gameplay and potentially some procedurally generated levels. The job descriptions also point to this being a live-service title, something Sony is currently lacking. There is Dreams, but that isn't triple-A, and Genshin Impact isn't on Xbox, but it's not a first-party game either.
RELATED: How Can Sony Compete With Xbox's Activision Blizzard Buyout?
The available roles range from leads with shipped titles under their belts to juniors just getting started, and even one that requires no games industry experience whatsoever. Each role also includes a clear commitment to increasing diversity across the studio, something that appears sorely needed if the almost all-white team photo on the website is anything to go by.
Many of the job listings require experience with online triple-A titles for console and PC, Unreal or Unity game engine knowledge, and procedural environment generation. There's also relatively standard stuff like character artists and AI programmers, so we can expect to be interacting with NPCs in the game.
One requirement for the lead level designer was "experience designing for online multiplayer combat," but whether that'll be PvP, PvE, or a mix of the two remains to be seen.
Each lead is expected to help build their own teams, and the studio is also hiring for an internal recruiter, so it looks like these hires are just the tip of the iceberg for the new project.
The appeal of PlayStation has always been its exclusives, so if this upcoming game is any good it could help PS5 sales stay even further ahead of the Xbox Series than they're predicted to be already. Sony's stock value plummeted by $20 billion after Microsoft's ABK purchase, so seeing new games are being worked on – especially in a genre as profitable online live-service – could ease shareholder fears.
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The power of word of mouth.
Issy is an avid film lover, writer, and game-player based in the UK. He combines his love of film and games in his writing, trying to find as many connections between the two mediums as possible. When he’s not writing, playing, or watching, Issy loves to DJ and look after his growing collection of houseplants, as they make him feel more adult.

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The story on how John Madden came to be involved with wildly popular EA Sports NFL video game – USA TODAY

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If the creators of the NFL video game so many millions of people have played had their way, the wildly popular franchise would not have been known simply as Madden.
According to a story ESPN published in 2016, legendary coach and analyst John Madden was the third choice of Trip Hawkins, the eventual founder of video game maker Electronic Arts (EA), to be the pitchman of the game that eventually became Madden NFL. An avid football fan, Hawkins’ first choice was legendary Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana and former Vikings and Patriots quarterback and Cal Bears coach Joe Kapp.
Madden, who died at the age of 85 Tuesday, continues to be one of the game’s most prominent icons. He was first a player, though a knee injury in his rookie season in 1958 with the Philadelphia Eagles cut his career short. He went on to be the head coach of the Raiders, where he won a Super Bowl. He became a television analyst during NFL games and made the game accessible for millions of viewers. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the Class of 2006. 
But it’s his constant presence on the video game franchise, arguably, that serves as his strongest connection to new generations of football fans and gamers alike.
OPINION: John Madden will live forever because his influence was so great
MORE: ‘The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer’: John Madden quotes that will never be forgotten
According to ESPN, Montana could not be involved because he had a conflicting endorsement deal with video game console maker Atari, while Kapp wanted royalties. According to the article, Madden was so impressed with Hawkins’ credentials — he went to Harvard and worked at Apple — that he agreed to sign on.
It proved to be a shrewd decision. Despite slow production and years of releases before it became a household name, Madden NFL has generated more than $4 billion since its inception and has sold more than 130 million copies, according to EA. Barron’s estimates that Madden NFL generates around $600 million annually for EA.
Still, Madden lamented one major mistake that cost him millions more.
According to ESPN, after “John Madden Football” was released in 1988, Hawkins approached Madden and said EA was about to have an initial public offering and that Madden could “have as much stock” as he wanted, though he would have to pay the initial price of $7.50 per share.
“Hell, I’m just a football coach,” Madden told ESPN. “I pointed with my finger, all knowing, and said, ‘I gave you my time. I’m not giving you my money.’ I showed him!”
In only the 10 years from 1989 to 1999, the price soared to $70 per share, according to ESPN.
Said Madden: “That was the dumbest thing I ever did in my life.”
Originally, the game was planned as being a seven-on-seven competition, due to the limitations of computing back when it was being initially programmed. Madden, however, balked at that idea and wanted the game — if he was going to appear on its cover — to be as authentic as possible. 
“If it wasn’t real football, I didn’t want my name on it,” Madden told Grantland in January 2012. “I wanted it to be real football — pro football — with the sideline, the numbers, the hash marks. Everything had to be pro football.”
One other unique aspect of the game is how the plays and formations users can call and execute are taken directly from NFL playbooks. Madden sent a 1980 Oakland Raiders playbook to Hawkins and former EA producer Joe Ybarra.
To elaborate on that, the game’s producers sought to mimic the playbooks of the teams featured in the game.
“For our playbooks, I would say to (former San Francisco Examiner beat writer and consultant) Frank (Cooney), ‘Go find out what a team’s five signature plays are,’ ” Hawkins told ESPN. “He would go up to the assistant coaches, hand them paper. And they would draw up plays! We collected a huge amount of plays that way.”
The video game franchise has evolved over the years to incorporate new game play modes and features, as well as tweaks to game play. Its reach across the NFL is comprehensive. Gamers within each locker room undoubtedly have their own copies and challenge each other during games. 
Even one of the game’s most reserved and self-controlled figures — and one of the greatest coaches in the history of the sport — has his own exposure to the video game.
“I haven’t played it in quite a while,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday after he opened his press conference with a tribute to Madden. “When my kids were growing up, they would play it and I would watch them. They would beat me.”
Belichick grinned as he told that anecdote, likely thinking back on those memories with his children —two of whom, sons Steve (outside linebackers) and Brian (safeties), are assistants on New England’s staff.
Perhaps that’s the enduring legacy of the Madden NFL franchise. Similar to the way he used charm and humor in the broadcast booth to make the sport appealing to all, the video game allows even those without expertise in the NFL or even in football to simulate the strategy behind it.
“It’s a way for people to learn the game and participate in the game at a pretty sophisticated level,” Madden told Grantland.

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Blizzard's new IP: Modern meets fantasy online survival game – TweakTown

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Blizzard’s next big IP might be an interesting take on a Kid in King Arthur’s Court and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Today Blizzard confirmed it is working on an ambitious new IP. The unnamed project is a survival game that merges modern and fantasy together, as per details gleaned from a brief concept art glimpse. Job listings also confirm the new IP will be an online-based adventure which is Blizzard’s usual fare.
“Blizzard is embarking on our next quest. We are going on a journey to a whole new universe, home to a brand-new survival game for PC and console. A place full of heroes we have yet to meet, stories yet to be told, and adventures yet to be lived. A vast realm of possibility, waiting to be explored,” reads a job posting.
We’ve known about Blizzard’s new IPs for a long time. The company has been incubating this new IP and another unannounced multiplayer shooter for a while, and Blizzard is also trying to create a shared games engine to power its future titles.
Alan Adham discussed the new incubation pipeline back in August 2021:
“We’re tight-lipped about it, but our new game pipeline has been in development for many years and it’s greater than it’s ever been across our core franchises and mobile, new IP and new genres. I’m looking forward to our teams launching their already announced new games in the not-too-distant future and in due course announcing a few new ones that you’ve yet to hear about,” Adham said.
So what is Blizzard working on? Here’s a selection:
Derek Strickland
Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man’s Sky with the magic of VR.

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